On Thursday, EMC and the UK’s leading strategic think-tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), presented an important new white paper Big Data for Defence and Security. This report examines the potential of data analytics to help the UK’s armed forces become more agile and effective, even as the resources available to them are reduced. The research behind the project has been wide-ranging, examining the use of data analytics in reconnaissance and espionage, in strategic planning and procurement and in tactical operations. The report also presents a set of very clear recommendations for the MoD to follow, some of which build on existing activity.
Research within the MoD has shown that there is relatively little understanding of how data analytics can benefit a modern organisation, even when compared with other departments of state. One of the objectives of this report was to address this issue and provide a roadmap for how technology could help to make better sense of the diverse information produced by the different aspects of the UK’s armed forces. RUSI was able to combine its deep understanding of the MoD with EMC’s knowledge of what is and what will be possible in data analytics, to produce a convincing blueprint for how data can help the UK armed forces cope with the changing demands of modern geopolitics. On Thursday evening, Liz Quintana, of RUSI, and James Petter of EMC (a former Captain in the British Army) introduced the report to an exclusive audience, and gave their points of view on the issues addressed by the project.
James Petter, EMC’s Vice President and Country Manager for UK and Ireland, commented that, “Even with shrinking budgets and continued operational constraints, the military is yet to wake up to the immense potential of thoroughly analysing the masses of existing information it is constantly collecting. Not only will it multiply the nation’s defence capability but significantly, it will make warfare safer. RUSI’s report highlights the role for leadership, experimentation and focus in driving adoption of these new tools and techniques to ensure we avoid obsolescence. This could literally be a matter of life and death as the armed forces work to ensure a brighter and safer tomorrow.”
You can see more from James Petter in this video